In this episode of LivingUpp's Conversations with Smart People, I talked with Lauren Huntington, the creator of Encouragemintz, a company that specializes in shareable peppermints that connect, uplift, and unite people. In this interview, we're talking about how gratitude and encouragement can be forms of self-care.
The simple expression of gratitude can strengthen relationships, increase empathy, and reduce stress. And some research suggests it can even make you happier. When you express gratitude, you're focused on what's going well in your life rather than what isn't -- and that naturally makes you more optimistic.
While there are many ways to offer support and encouragement, giving small gifts is one of the easiest ways. If you've been looking for ways to express gratitude and encouragement more often, have a listen.
"I'm an idea girl," explained Lauren.
After spending many years in direct sales, Lauren felt led to lay down that business and create space for something else. Knowing that she was passionate about giving, she waited for an idea that would allow her to do more of that.
And the idea came to her where many great ideas originate.
"I was literally in the shower when I got the idea," she said. "The word 'courage' stood out of the word 'encourage' and I realized when we encourage people, we are saying to them, I believe in you, don't give up."
What was born out of that connection was Encouragemintz, a gift that acts as a reset button, offering encouraging words each time you pull a mint from the tin.
But it's more than that.
"One simple act of kindness can make an impact," she said. "I believe it can save someone's life."
Lauren's mission is to change the world through encouragement and kindness.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” — Steve Jobs.
"I will be very transparent. I'm dealing with a lot of stuff in my personal life," she said. "Reading good books that help with mindset and self-care have been extremely helpful."
And mindset is essential when it comes to our well-being. "I have this kind of grit, fighter, like, no matter what happens there's something good that can come out of it," she said.
But Lauren wasn't always like that.
"I was actually a really angry and negative kid, and in high school realized I was tired of being that way," Lauren said. "After I got the idea, it was amazing because it literally felt like my life made sense. I have always been an encourager. In fact, I used to go around high school passing out Jolly Ranchers saying 'Have a jolly day."
Clearly, she's been on the path leading to Encouragemintz for a long time.
But it's worth noting that those who express gratitude and encouragement aren't immune to life's challenges. Being an encourager doesn't mean you ignore the tragedies and struggles happening around you. It means you make a conscious choice to use your energy in a way that brings something good to the world despite the suffering that exists.
Being an encourager involves changing your lens, not changing reality.
"As a type A, go-getter, oldest child, military kid, one of the self-care things I've learned as I've grown older is that when I've hit a wall a few times, I'm gonna go work on something else," she says. "Then I'm calm, I'm more balanced...I come back around and it works!"
And it's so true. Wearing ourselves thin trying to force things to work can be counterproductive. Sometimes walking away, clearing our heads, and returning when we're in a space to create produces the best outcomes.
That's what makes self-care so crucial. It shows us when we hit those walls and helps us recover and re-calibrate.
Encouragemintz are sugar-free and are available in bundles intended to be shared.
"You freshen your breath but you freshen your mind and your heart at the same time," said Lauren. "Our core values are community, hope and kindness."
Everything Lauren does serves to build community and bring people together. "True happiness, true health, comes from what we do for others." she said.
Learn more about how to connect with Lauren and purchase Encouragemintz here:
Have a thought about gratitude and encouragement? Leave a comment below.
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